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BBQ VI set to bring buffet of great music to Trumansburg

Kaleta and Super Yamba Band
Kaleta and Super Yamba Band

After a two-year hiatus, The BBQ is returning to offer an eclectic roster of bands and DJs performing Friday and Saturday in Trumansburg.

The lineup includes area favorites Jimkata, Driftwood, the Comb Down, Kevin Kinsella, Rose and the Bros, Richie and Rosie, and Vicious Fishes among its more than two-dozen acts.

Now in its sixth year, and formerly known as the Big Mean BBQ, the BBQ will again be held at 3150 Agard Road – the former offsite camping and parking area of the GrassRoots Festival. As in past years, the BBQ will use the GrassRoots Dance Tent and Leslie Puryear Community Stage as its two stages, but will provide a more intimate experience than its much larger counterpart.

“It’s a really nice little hang,” said Russ Friedell, who directs the BBQ along with Angelo Peters, a founding member of Big Mean Sound Machine who currently plays with Afro-funksters New Planets and synth-pop duo Dom Martyr, both of which will play the BBQ.


BBQ mainstays Driftwood will return to play a set each day, and local electro-rockers Jimkata, who reunited last year after a four-year break, will play at 9 p.m. Saturday. Kevin Kinsella, who played a show in downtown Ithaca in June, will reprise his set of “OG JBB” by performing tunes he wrote as a founding member of John Brown’s Body; he’ll be joined by JBB drummer Tommy Benedetti, guitarist Van Martin, saxman Lee Hamilton and others for the Friday night set.

Other local bands include Max Childs, a soul-funk band and winner of this year’s GrassRoots Band Contest); Metasequoia, which just released a new album; Double Tiger, the roots-reggae-dub project of Jay Spaker; Richie and Rosie, the duo of Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton, who play a mix of old-time, country and original tunes; the Notorious Stringbusters, the raucous acoustic band led by brothers Ash and Rylan Broadwell; the Comb Down, the instrumental funk collective driven by organist Jon Petronzio and guitarist Brian Mlodzinski; Analogue Sons, the ska-jazz-dub-soul-funk band fronted by Lee Hamilton and Mike Stark; Vicious Fishes, the Trumansburg-based garage rock band that has built a strong following in just a few years; and Rose and the Bros, the Cajun-zydeco band that just released its second album. DJs ArtV and Khaleeb will kick off Friday and Saturday, respectively, spinning tunes on the Leslie Puryear Stage.

Juan Vergara

Out-of-town acts include AfroBeta, the Miami-based electro-pop duo of Cuci Amador and Tony “Smurphio” Laurencio; Shawn Seals and SMX, a Syracuse-based soul-jazz-gospel group; Tyler Westcott, a founding member of FolkFaces who just played a well-received set at GrassRoots; Matt O’Brian’s Flying Object, the latest project of the former Thunder Body singer-drummer; Brahm Masla; a singer-drummer-producer from Miami; and the Far East, the Brooklyn-based “lover’s rock” reggae band that just played Ithaca Reggae Fest.

Friedell is especially excited about Kaleta and Super Yamba Band, who will close out the festival Saturday night.

“Kaleta was discovered by Fela Kuti as a 16-year-old guitar prodigy in Nigeria, and went on to play with Fela, King Sunny Ade, and Lauryn Hill,” Friedell said. “He’s been living in the United States for a while, and his band plays very tight Afrobeat funk, which gets back to the Big Mean Sound Machine vibe.”

Friedell himself will perform as a keyboardist with Mark Maynard and Scuba Jerry, a recently formed band that played Jerry Garcia tunes; it also includes drummer Kenny Christianson (Busted Subaru), bassist Cooper Casterline (New Planets), and singer-guitarist Maynard, a longtime friend of Friedell’s who recently moved back to Central New York after years on the West Coast.

“It’s essentially a Jerry Garcia Band cover band,” Friedell explained. “That was Jerry’s side project to have fun on the road, playing Motown covers and stuff like that. It should be a really nice thing to have on Saturday afternoon when people are trying to put themselves back together for day two.”

The BBQ also will feature a variety of food vendors, including Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Yxi’s Arepas and Gordito, Copper Horse Coffee, and New York Pizzeria. “Yes, it’s a barbecue without a proper barbecue,” said Friedell, “but, hey, you know, it adds a little twist to the whole thing.”

There will also be movies projected onto a large portable screen, art and craft vendors, and late-night DJ sets from Proper Philth, DJ Terkalerk, and Dirty Gems, the recently formed collaboration between djGOURD and Double Tiger.

And this year’s festival mascot is the sloth, following in the footsteps of previous animals such as the platypus, macaw, raccoon, shark, and iguana.

Lilac O'Brien
The Comb Down

A Good Cause

According to its mission statement, “The BBQ is dedicated to passing the NY Health Act through a fun, conscious weekend-long celebration of music, art, food, and vitality.” A small fee from each ticket sale will be donated to the Campaign for New York Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to passing the New York Health Act.

“For me, going through the pandemic really shined a spotlight on our health care system in this country, and how it's just not equipped for health care – it's equipped for capitalism and people to make money off of all of us,” Friedell said. “And so, New York state is very close to passing Medicare for All through the New York Health Act bill. I’ve been paying attention to it for a few years now, but it seems to me a lot of people still don’t know about it. The BBQ is about everyone coming together and supporting each other, and the pandemic showed me that health care is a part of that.

“To me, health care is a human right and there's no reason why we can't be like every other first-world country in the world and provide health care for each other so that people don't have to go bankrupt if they get cancer or if they accidentally break a leg or if they have tooth pain or if they need to get a new set of glasses. So that’s why I wanted to make it our mission in addition to just throwing a really fun event.”


What: The BBQ VI.

When: Friday and Saturday, Aug. 26 and 27.

Where: 3150 Agard Road, Trumansburg, New York.

Cost: $25-$80, available online here. Kids under 16 get in free. Onsite camping is available for an additional fee.

Event Info

Dom Martyr
Dom Martyr

Here’s the schedule for the BBQ IV:

Friday, Aug. 26

11:30 a.m. DJ ArtV

1:30 p.m. Analogue Sons

2:30 p.m. Max Childs

3:30 p.m. Brahm Masla

4:30 p.m. Notorious Stringbusters

5:30 p.m. Shawn Seals and SMX

6:30 p.m. Richie and Rosie

7:30 p.m. Driftwood

8:45 p.m. New Planets

9:45 p.m. Kevin Kinsella and OG JBB

11 p.m. Double Tiger

12 a.m. The Comb Down

Saturday, Aug. 27

10 a.m. Yoga with Yoga Farm

11 a.m. Little Beats Kids Music and Parade

11 a.m. DJ Khaleeb

12:30 p.m. Tyler Westcott

1:30 p.m. The Far East

2:30 p.m. Metasequoia

3:30 p.m. Mark Maynard and Scuba Jerry

4:30 p.m. Matt O’Brian’s Flying Object

5:30 p.m. Rose and the Bros

6:30 p.m. Vicious Fishes

7:30 p.m. Driftwood

8:45 p.m. Dom Martyr

9:45 p.m. Jimkata

11 p.m. Afrobeta

12 a.m. Keleta and Super Yamba Band

Kevin Kinsella

Jim Catalano covers the Finger Lakes music scene for WITH (90.1 FM in Ithaca, and its affiliates.